Playing it Safe with Strata During Storms

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015
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The susceptibility of certain parts of country to stormy weather during the summer months – particularly Northern Territory and Queensland, necessitates precautions on the part of property managers and owners in order to avoid potential weather-related damage and related insurance woes.

This is particularly the case for units or apartments under strata management arrangements, given the reciprocal impact of the decisions and actions of individual owners or residents and the body corporate.

Strata managers should ensure that any common areas are kept clear and free of rubbish or debris that could become a source of potential hazard during extreme winds conditions.

This includes ensuring that any loose items, such as pot plants and outdoor furniture, are firmly secured to avoid them blowing away and becoming hazardous debris.

Unit owners and tenants should be apprised of the need to undertake preparations for the sake of protecting not only their own properties, but the rest of the buildings or apartment complexes in which they’re situated.

Residents should also remain aware of the specific circumstances of their own properties, in order to take appropriate precautions.

Ground floor properties, for example, will of course be far more vulnerable to flood damage in the case of rainy weather – particularly those situated close to drainage installations.

For properties situated at higher storeys, a major source of peril and hazard during extreme storms is balcony fittings and furniture. Residents should ensure that any potentially dangerous items located on balconies are either firmly secured or moved indoors during storms, in order to avoid needless danger.

Attention should also be given to the location of windows in relation to prevailing winds, their vulnerability to flying debris and whether or not they need to be secured.

Should significant damage occur as a result of stormy weather, the handling of insurance processes can be a challenge for strata residents given the jointly owned nature of their properties.

Owners and residents should be fully apprised of the insurance schemes covering strata properties, due the variable nature of the coverage on offer.

Most policies will cover the whole structure of the building as well as any fixed cupboards situated within them, while excluding damage to carpeting as well as personal belongings.

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